When you decide to adorn the top of your house with a cedar wood roof, you have the option of cedar shingles or cedar shakes. Cedar shakes and shingles are some of the most popular types of exterior home coverings. These rustic shingles and shakes can improve the look of any home while also increasing the functionality, practicality, and efficiency.

Moreover, cedar shakes and shingles are extremely durable and can withstand most any weather condition. Many people use the terms cedar shingles and cedar shakes interchangeably, however, there is a distinct difference: Wondering what the differences are between the two?

Cedar Shingles vs Cedar Shakes Comparison

Features Cedar Shingles Cedar Shakes
Appearance Even taper, uniform thickness Thicker at butt end, split for more rustic, textured look
Installation Shingles lay flat Shakes are not uniform, so underlayer of felt paper is required to fill in gaps that create the textured look.
Cost Less than shakes More precise process makes them more costly than cedar shingles
Longevity 30 years 40 years

Cedar Shingles Provide Uniformity

Cedar shingle Roofs have more of a finished look. They have been cut with a saw and come stained and sometimes even pre-treated. Cedar shingle roofing is best known for its crisp, even appearance. Cedar shingles are thinner than shakes and available in three different thickness inches and lengths. Sawn on both sides by machine, cedar wood shingles are evenly tapered to achieve a uniform thickness. Their appearance produces an elegant and natural roof covering.

  • These are from the cedar tree’s heartwood. The grains are straight and have no defects.
  • There is a light mix of sapwood in these shingles. They are occasionally used for re-roofing, walls/siding, and as a starter course for roofs.
  • There are defects like knots and waves allowed on these sapwood mixed shingles. They are best left to use on garden sheds, walls of outbuildings, gazebos, etc.
  • Under-coursing – A utility grade for under-coursing of double coursed sidewalls only. There is NO other use for these shingles.

Get That Rustic Look With A Cedar Shake Roof

Cedar shake, however are different in that they do not have the same finished look. The material is extremely thick and has been cut by hand, not a saw. This creates a more rustic or old look that can be very visually pleasing for the right home. In addition, cedar shakes do not often come finished or treated so they need a bit more work during that installation process.

Homeowners who want to achieve a rustic or historic look on their home choose a cedar shake roof. A tapersawn shake is sawn on both sides but features a natural taper to achieve a semi-textured look with a strong shadow line. Because a cedar shake is hand split, the integrity of the natural wood grain remains in tact. By not slicing through the grain, cedar wood shakes last longer than sawn shingles.

  • Heavy Split & Resawn – Sawn smooth on the back while the face shows its rustic grain. This is the heaviest type of and is available in 3/4″, 7/8″, 1″ and 1 1/4″+ thickness.
  • Medium Split and Resawn – lt’s much like the Heavy Split & Resawn shake, but not as thick or heavy. It produces an even more textured appearance to a roof.
  • Tapersawn Shake – These shakes resemble cedar shingle but are a good deal thicker. This shake gives a naturally tailored look of a shingle accented by the sharper shadow-line of a shake due to the thickness of the butt.

Rely On American Roof Preservers For Our Cedar Roofing Expertise

Regardless of what you choose, cedar shingles and cedar shakes will beautiful your home and be a great investment. If you need help deciding between cedar shingles vs cedar shakes, we’ll be happy to assist you with your selection.

We’ll evaluate the style of your home, its architectural features and its surroundings and provide you with the best options. Get in touch with us today to explore your cedar wood roofing options or to obtain a free estimate.

We install cedar roofs on new homes as well as cedar roof replacements on existing homes. You’ll be amazed at how a cedar roof can transform the appearance of your home!

Call Now!